HOUSTON, Texas — The special prosecutor who filed criminal charges against Texas Governor Rick Perry now claims the Governor is threatening Grand Jury witnesses by requesting a transcript of Grand Jury Testimony. Perry’s lawyers have accused the special prosecutor of attempting to criminalize the political process.
Perry’s lawyers, who are attempting to prepare a defense for the Governor, have filed a motion with the court to release the transcripts of Grand Jury testimony. Perry was indicted for exercising his Constitutional power of veto when he threatened to veto funding of the Travis County special anti-corruption unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s office after District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested and convicted of drunk driving.
At the time of the indictment, Perry said, “I am confident that we will ultimately prevail, that this farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it is. And those responsible will be held accountable.”
The prosecutors argued in two lengthy briefs that the Governor has not “established a need for the transcript,” according to an article in Politico by Lucy McCalmont. “The defendant’s own words have instilled a concern for all persons who participated in the grand jury investigation,” special prosecutors Mike McCrum and David M. Gonzalez argued in a brief made public on Monday.
“Indeed such a principle is even more compelling where the defendant seeking disclosure is a governor, a ‘ruler’ within our structure of government, possessing all the power that led to the initiation of the principle of confidentiality,” McCrum statedaccording to a Dallas Morning News article by Christy Hoppe.
Perry’s attorneys argue the Governor was simply exercising his Constitutional right to veto appropriations, separation of powers and that the veto was privileged speech.
McCrum has responded by stating the transcripts might be available at a later date for the defense team, but that the lawyers should not have unrestricted access to Grand Jury testimony this early in the process.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.